Personal Injury Claim Client Guideline

The best protection you can have to secure your rights and interests arising from a personal injury, is to be represented by an attorney. An attorney will properly initiate your claim against the person at fault as well as their insurance carrier and relieve you of the headaches by doing the work for you until a reasonable settlement can be reached. Our attorneys are professionally trained in the area of Personal Injury and we will put our knowledge and experience to work for you. However, you should familiarize yourself with the procedural and substantial aspects of the personal injury claims process to avoid any unwarranted pitfalls and traps while attempting to maximize your recovery.

We at the Law Offices of Brett A. Barrett have provided below, a short synopsis of what you can expect and how to best assist us in obtaining an amicable settlement for you. Once you have decided to retain the services of our law firm or have if you just have a specific question with regards to your claim, injury or accident feel free to CONTACT US at (949) 261-0553 or (800) 220-4220 toll free.

  • Report the incident to the appropriate insurance carriers, to include your own, if you haven't already done so. If not, we can always do it for you. Do not give any insurance company your authorization to obtain your records. Always talk with the same adjuster, if possible, and reference the claim number they gave you. Provide them with the relevant factual information only. Never agree to provide them with a recorded statement. This may come back to haunt you later on. If you do not have a copy of the Police Report, if there is one, we will get it for you and provide you with a courtesy copy. We will take written statements from all favorable witnesses. You will be required by State law to report the collision to the California Department of Motor Vehicles if you were involved in an automobile accident. We have the correct forms in our office in order to do so.

  • Get an estimate on any and all property damage that needs repaired or appears to be a total loss. If you need body shop referrals we can help you. Always photograph the physical damage to your property. The best time to do so is at the scene before any vehicles are moved. Use your cell phone if you do not have a camera handy. We will notify the insurance carriers as to were the property damage is to be repaired and submit to them a copy of your estimate. Always make copies of everything that you send to us or to anyone else regarding your claim. It is also a good practice to keep notes on all telephone conversations and daily activities or inactivity. While your property damage is being repaired, you are entitled to a comparable rental vehicle. We will assist you in establishing a direct bill between the rental car company and the responsible insurance company. If not, you may be required to pay for it on a credit card or by other means, however, we should be able to get reimbursement for your out of pocket expense. If you have liability and collision insurance coverage on your vehicle, do not purchase the insurance coverage offered by the rental company. It will not be reimbursed. Once your property damage has been repaired, we will submit a copy of the rental bill to the responsible insurance company for reimbursement. In the event that you do not get a rental vehicle, you are still entitled to be paid for the loss of use of your vehicle at the reasonable daily rental rate for the days you were without your vehicle. So if you have alternate transportation, we suggest using it while your vehicle is in the repair shop, in order to get additional loss of use money.

  • If you missed any time from your employment, we need to have your employer write us a letter on their letterhead, if possible, illustrating your job title, hire date, rate of pay and how it is calculated and the actual dates and times that you missed due to your injuries.

  • Delay is your worst enemy when pursuing a personal injury claim. Be sure to seek medical attention immediately and adhere to your physician's instructions and treatment plan without skipping appointments. Gaps in your treatment will not assist you in obtaining a fair settlement. Be very careful not to seek too much or unnecessary medical attention. Over treatment and unnecessary medical treatment will not be compensated for. Frequently consult your physicians as to what your bill or total charges are. If your own insurance policy has a medical payment provision, we may submit your doctor bills to them for payment. Remember that you may be responsible to reimburse your insurance company should you obtain any moneys from the person at fault and/or their insurance company.

  • Once you have recovered from your injuries and your formal medical treatment is concluded, telephone our office to make sure we are aware of it, as most doctors offices will not inform us as to the status of your treatment. We will then request that your physicians provide us with a detailed medical report along with their medical records and billing statement. After receiving all of your medical documentation, we will provide the insurance company with a demand package in the appropriate legal format, demanding a certain amount of money compensating you for your injuries. This includes but is not limited to the following: Medical Bills, Future Medical Treatment, Loss of Wages, and Pain & Suffering money. We will always demand more money than the case is actually worth for purposes of negotiation. We will include the medical reports, records and billings, verification of your lost wages from your employer, pictures of the property damage, all pertinent witness statements, along with the police report if there is one. Our demand package will have a timed response for the insurance carrier to get back with us with their position or any counter offer, rejection or acceptance. We will contact you at this time to discuss your options and the other side's position. We will inform you as to the range of value for your case prior so you will be able to make an educated decision before entering into any settlement agreement.

  • Remember that each and every case is different and that some cases end up not settling at all. Should this be the case, we will advise you to pursue the matter through litigation and/or arbitration to include filing a lawsuit against the person(s) at fault. But in all instances, once the case has been resolved by whatever means, you will be required to sign a release of all claims. By doing such you are releasing the responsible person(s) from all liability to include any injuries or pain incurred by you in the future. You will not be able to come back later and pursue more money.

  • If your claim is against an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist, and we are proceeding against your own insurance carrier, there are specific procedures that need to be followed, to include obtaining a certificate of no insurance from the Department of Motor Vehicles. We will obtain this certificate and all other necessary documentation on your behalf.

The above material is to be used as a guideline only and does not provide any guarantees. Of course this is a simple guideline primarily focused on an automobile collision and some issues discussed above are not applicable in every situation. In addition, certain situations require additional procedures and certain tactics, if you should have any questions, we recommend that you speak directly with our attorneys. The information provided herein is not legal advice, and is intended to be used as a client guideline only. This office does not represent anyone as Attorneys of Record until a retainer agreement has been signed. All materials contained herein are the opinions of BARRETT INJURY LAW and are the property of this office.

We hope this can be of assistance to you. I would like to inform you that this office handles a wide array of legal services and our attorneys and co-counsel are competent and anxious to assist you in whatever legal needs that you may have. If you or someone you know has any questions regarding your current case or with regards to another legal matter, please feel free to call us. 949-261-0553 or (800)220-4220 toll free.

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